“Ready?” calls Dad from downstairs. I check the seal on my net-suit and try not to smudge lipstick as I put on the hood. Mum attaches the bridal veil.
In October this year, the Pentagon announced a controversial new project called “Insect Allies”. Funded by DARPA, researchers will use gene-editing techniques like CRISPR to infect insects with modified viruses that could make crops more resilient. However, the scientific community is skeptical and has voiced concerns that the project could be easily exploited as a biological weapon. Inspired by this news, A. J. Nicol added a twist to a scene normally filled with nostalgia and love – a bride getting ready for their wedding. Living in Australia, A. J. is used to keeping an eye out for dangerous creatures. The idea of adding virus-laden grasshoppers to the mix is not appealing.
//A.J. Nicol likes to write short stuff. She’s on Twitter @manicol1//
He had known this moment would come, but that didn’t make it any easier. He leaned against the flank, felt the familiar coolness against his cheek as the world’s last glacier melted into nothingness.
The ice is melting. Regardless of future cuts to emissions, the current level of greenhouse gas has set in motion an irreversible melting of glaciers. In other words – some glaciers may already be doomed to disappear. In the same week that this glacier study came out, Sarah DeWeerdt was contemplating the death of Sudan, the last male northern white rhinoceros. Reading of their possible extinction, she wondered: What if disappearing glaciers also had human caretakers who became attached to them? // Alex Massey
//Sarah DeWeerdt is a freelance science journalist based in Seattle. Follow her on Twitter at @DeWeerdt_Sarah.//
Her parents drone followed her always. Drone-watched kids hung out together, not speaking, the only sound the buzz of the swarm above them.
In China some classrooms broadcast live streams allowing parents—or anyone on the internet—to watch students, from kindergarten to university. This has raised controversy, with many raising the issues of violated rights, harm to personal growth, and the potential harassing comments from strangers. Mass media may focus on the government spying on citizens, but should we not also be asking what harm is caused when we start surveilling our loved ones?
//Zebadiah Mina is a comics writer obsessed with standup comedy & climate change. They write at medium.com/@Zebadiah, and live in Vancouver.//
Don checked his earphones and gun.
The rebels had turned over the latest mind-controlled keyboards to their toddlers.
Time to fight or die.
In the last decade, brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) have been used to provide biofeedback on the brain, translating brain activity into images or audible tones. Advances in this technology have enabled finer control over the readouts, allowing users to move objects with more finesse, including robotic limbs and the Encephalophone, a musical keyboard. The Encephalophone could be used to rehabilitate stroke victims, or with the power of Zoe Perrenoud’s imagination – to act as a weapon of mass distraction. // Alex Massey
//Zoe Perrenoud @zoper is a freelance writer and translator with a mission to inspire.//